Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Published by Candlewick 

Summary:  Juana lives in Bogota, Colombia with her mother, Mami, and her dog Lucas.  She loves soccer, her best friend Juli, and Astroman.  She does not love learning “the English” at school.  It’s hard, and there doesn’t seem to be much point to it.  But then her beloved grandparents tell her they want to take her to Spaceworld in Orlando, Florida, where Juana will get to meet Astroman.  Her grandfather tells her that at Spaceworld, everyone speaks English, and Mami tells her that if her grades don’t improve, there will be no Spaceworld.  That’s all the inspiration she needs, and before long, the family has an amazing trip, and Juana gets to tell Astroman her whole life story.  96 pages; grades 2-4.

Pros:  Fans of Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones will enjoy the spunky Juana and her affectionate dog.  The Colombian setting and frequent Spanish words give this a nice international flavor.  Lots of colorful, cartoony illustrations throughout.

Cons:  It would have been nice to have a Spanish to English translation guide for all the Spanish words in the text.

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